Body of Work: Zeinabu irene Davis
Zeinabu irene Davis is an accomplished and influential director, producer and scholar within the field of African and African American Cinema. Her work expands across documentaries, narrative shorts, and experimental films. Concerned with the depiction of women of African descent, she passionately threads Black womanhood, folklore, and intimacy within her films.
A Philadelphia native, Davis holds an undergraduate degree from Brown University, an MA in African Studies and an MFA from UCLA. After holding teaching positions at Antioch College and Northwestern University, Davis moved to teach at UC San Diego, where she currently serves as Professor of Communications. She has received numerous grants and fellowships from such sources as the National Black Programming Consortium, Rockefeller Foundation, the American Film Institute and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Wednesday, December 2, 2020, 7:00 PM
Compensation (USA, 1999, 92 min)
A film about a young African American couple at the beginning and end of the twentieth century. Compensation uses silent cinema techniques to portray two inter-related love stories that offer a view of Black Deaf culture.
Cycles (USA, 1989, 17 min)
As a woman anxiously awaits her overdue period, she performs African-based rituals of purification. She cleans house and body, and calls on the spirits (Orishas in the Yoruba tradition), receiving much needed inspiration and assurance in a dream. The film combines beautifully intimate still and moving images of the woman’s body and home space, along with playful stop-motion sequences.
A Period Piece (USA, 1991, 4 min)
In this video work, Zeinabu irene Davis and collaborator Quinta Seward perform a comic rap about the false promises in ads for feminine hygiene products.
Trumpetistically Clora Bryant (USA, 1989, 56 min)
This film presents a fond and informative portrait of pioneering female jazz trumpeter Clora Bryant. Rich with tunes and anecdotes, the documentary handsomely details Bryant’s long journey in music and her influence on generations of musicians.
Friday, December 4, 2020, 7:00 PM
Spirits of Rebellion: Black Independent Cinema From Los Angeles (USA, 2017, 101 min)
Co-produced, filmed & edited by D. Andy Rice
Zeinabu irene Davis provides intimate access to several filmmakers identified with the L.A. Rebellion, including Charles Burnett, Ben Caldwell, Julie Dash, Haile Gerima, Barbara McCullough, Billy Woodberry and Davis herself, The film’s topics include the origins of the name “L.A. Rebellion,” the importance of public education to this group and in today’s world, and the intriguing question, “what is a Black film?”